Cycler Interview

Early last year, I got to read the unfinished manuscript of a book called Cycler, by Lauren McLaughlin. It was about a girl named Jill who has a problem: she changes into a boy four days a month.

Obviously, this isn’t the best way to go through puberty, what with all the identity issues and stuff. So with the help of her parents, she’s managed to keep her transformations hidden. In fact, she’s repressed her memories of being a boy to the point where her male self, Jack, has developed his own personality–and he’s very much a boy.

A boy who’s getting really tired of being hidden . . .

Needless to say, the book was really awesome, and I wound up blurbing it:

Artfully fractured and wickedly smart. A brilliant screwball comedy about love, self knowledge, and the secret identities inside all of us.

The book has taken a while to come out, as first novels do, and in the meantime I’ve become pals with Lauren and her husband Andrew. So now that Cycler is on shelves, I thought I would convene with her and do a quick IM interview.

Here’s our conversation, unedited and in its original IM-y format! (Argh, so many typos.) I’m on the right side and Lauren, for reasons that will soon be revealed, is the cat.

By the way, Lauren’s husband (Andrew, mentioned above) is a fashion photographer, and he did the photo for the cover:

You can buy Cycler at Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon. Or at many fine real-life bookstores across the land!

If you have any questions of your own for Lauren, feel free to ask them in the comments, and I’ll see if she’ll answer them.

All best to everyone going back to school!

112 thoughts on “Cycler Interview

  1. Ooh, that sounds really good! I like the IM chat as well — I, too, have just discovered IM. 🙂 Great interview, Scott!

  2. omg ill tootally go and read that now it looks really good. and yah def hard without the gender thing.
    and how does soemone hypnotize themselves if they dont remember in the first place y there being hypnomtyzed…
    im confused…..

    TOP 55555!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Very interesting with much big words. Well, not big words, but words bigger than the ones I usually use IMing.

    I also hate talking on the phone. Ew.

    *adds Cycler to list of books I should read sometime soon*

    But I’m re-reading Midnighters right now. And, while I’m thinking about it, I must say…I’d forgotten all the amusing similes. They make me happy.

  4. Hi Gabi. When the cycling first began, Jill remembered everything about her days as a boy and was so disturbed by it that she decided to hypnotize herself. So now, when she wakes up as a girl, as soon as any memories from her boy days intrude, she begins the hypnosis to erase it.

  5. i also hate talking on the phone–there can be so many…awkward pauses and such.
    i completley agree that mosta the time, movies based on novles STINK. like eragon, for example. they can’t even make a movie of eldest, cuz they left so much stuff out…it’s annoying. i mean it woulda been a good movie by itself, but compared to the book?

  6. Yess! Post # 13( I hope)

    Those were some pretty “juicy” questions..and a long IM…
    Cool interview, maybe if Cycler goes into my library I’ll read it, right now though like 10 books are still needing to be read.

    I don’t wanna go back to school, for me it starts tomorrow.

  7. I feel as if I’ve been “in school” all summer working on my next novel. I’m actually about to begin vacation starting Friday. It’s a little backward. And, unfortunately, I feel like I’ve missed the whole summer. I hope you all had enough fun to make up for that.

  8. sounds good!! I’ll have to see if they have it at the library… neat cover too. (ugh school, must you bring it up on a holiday??)

  9. Yay…. I was just about to order books on amazon, so now I can order this too.

    Thanks a lot…. really 🙂

  10. That sounds like a fun book and something different too! Can’t wait to read!

    Wait, do the boy and girl look anything alike. Similar eyes, smile, hair color, or are they very much different looking that they wouldn’t even look like siblings?

  11. Hi Tam-la. Jack and Jill look very much alike. In fact, the book cover features Jill on the front and Jack on the back. We cast it with models who resemble each other.

  12. I am really excited to by the book! My mom is limiting the number of books I get so I might get this by October with Bogus to Bubbly

  13. Self induced schizophrenia is possibly the most interesting term I’ve heard in my life, and it’s SO true.

    Not sure if you’re into Batman or not, or if I’m even right, but I’m pretty sure they’re doing something along those lines in a new arc right now.

    It seems like it could be a very entertaining notion. I’m definitely checking this book out.

  14. Yay 30! Ugh, school! Curse school!! Oh well at least this is my last year. ’09 baby!!! That sounds like an interesting book, I should go look for that at the bookstore(s). But I got a lot to read already 🙁 Neat IM. I’ve never IMed anyone in my life when I can just talk on the phone. huh….

  15. Sweet! I’ve been needing new reading material. Thanks Scott-sama.

    School is like, BLAH right now. Not to mention I think I have a virus and it WON’T GO AWAY! Grr. Someone needs to invent something that makes chemistry and trig homework do itself…

  16. wow, sounds like a really interesting book! i can’t wait to read it. for some reason, i’ve always kind of wanted to be a schizophrenic. it actually sounds really cool (and you have an excuse for everything!)

    question for Lauren: why don’t you write the script for the Uglies movie? now *that* sounds like a good idea.

    comment for scott: nice picture! hahaha

    Because I’ll totally make the Top 100 😉

  17. Okay, a little less busy at this time. I’m SO buying that book a soon as I can. It sounds really cool from what you guys have been saying about it. I don’t think I’d like to be in Jill’s shoes though, lol.

  18. Sounds like a great book! I can’t wait to pick it up and read it! You mentioned that her husband did the cover for the book. My dream is to be an author, and my fiance is a brilliant artist. I could see him designing the cover if it gets to a publisher. Could you ask Lauren if it was a difficult process to have her husband do the cover? I’ve heard first time novelists often have little say in the cover art of their books. Thanks so much, and great interview!

  19. I was thinking earlier and I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t have some amount of self induced skitzo. I kno that I act differently around my family than I do my friends. They are both part of me I just like one part better. I think it’s an awsome book idea!

  20. Wow. That sounds really good. Although, as mentioned in the interview, i think it is weird how she would erase her memory. I’d use it to my advantage. Haha.

  21. The next time I can get to the book store (or maybe my school’s library, the librarian likes to order books i suggest [woot!]) I’ll get it. It seems quite interesting. Very apt title as well.

    Can you ask Lauren why she wanted to write about this? It just seems sort of random. Although, now that I think of it, it isn’t really. NOW I’M CONFUSED!!! Grrr. I need my english class back.

  22. Fallen: the difference between having two sides to your personality and being a schitzo is the fact that you can’t remember anything, and your “double side” does things against your will. i really really hope *that* isn’t ordinary…

    if these kind of things interest anyone, you should watch the TV show “Heroes” or the movie “A Beautiful Mind”

    Because I’ll totally make the Top 100 😉

  23. Hi Sarah-la. Although this is my first novel, I’m told that it is indeed unusual for an author to have any control over her book cover. Cycler went through several different failed covers without my involvement before the editor finally suggested that I get involved. The idea for the cover was theirs, but Andrew shot it and he and I cast the models and styled it.

    Hi ME!!!!! I originally wanted to write about this because I thought it would be an interesting way to explore gender. But once I started writing, it became much more about identity and secrets.

    Bran-la, I’m with you. I think if I had this strange condition, I’d exploit it rather than hide it. But for some reason when I created Jill she seemed much more apt to repress anything that would make her stick out. I’d love to read a story about someone who embraced their gender swapping. That would be very interesting indeed.

  24. Im wondering why its called cycler is it because of the whole she changes in a cycle ordoes it have something to do with biking because thats all that would come to mind in the morning.
    Also I like the cover it peeks my interests all by itself.

  25. Whoa. I totally have to read that book now. (after I finish “The Last Days” of course) And ummm…What movies did Lauren make?

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